Kenosha, WI – March 12, 2018 – In 2017, 25,269 free meals were served to members at the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha. The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) began in 2015 at the Club and has served a total of 55,092 meals since its inception.
The CACFP is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture. Nationwide, 4.2 million children and 130,000 adults receive nutritious meals through CACFP. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
Andrea Prichard, Director of Youth Services for the Club, spearheads the program locally. “We knew for many years that we needed to figure out a way to feed the youth that we were serving,” said Prichard. “Before we started participating in CACFP and SFSP we were only able to serve the youth a small, unhealthy snack.”
From 2016 to 2017, the average Youth Center school year attendance jumped from 75 to 114 kids per day. That was evident in the number of meals served as well. In 2017, 6,325 more meals were served at the Club than in 2016.
In the summer time, kids receive breakfast and lunch. During the school year, dinner is served. In order to receive funding each year, certain health and nutrition requirements must be met with each plate that goes out. “The CACFP food requirements are that youth receive a meat or meat alternate, grain, vegetable, fruit and milk to make it a claimable meal,” said Prichard.
The man in the kitchen is Director of Food & Beverage Services, Kevin Schroeder. Schroeder plans the menu each month, manages a small team to help prepare and serve meals, cooks, and oversees concessions operations at the Club.
“It can be very challenging sometimes, as young ones haven’t fully developed their palate or may be afraid to try new things,” said Schroeder. “I try to come up with new ideas for them and hope they enjoy the flavors. One meal that was started and can’t go away is ‘Taco Tuesday.’ The kids really enjoy that one.”
Over the years, Schroeder has made everything from meatloaf and quesadillas to Italian sausage, and even Chinese stir fry. The overwhelming member favorite is pizza. Member Ja’Tori Walker always looks forward to dinner at the Club, “I like dinner here because it’s delicious and fills me up!”
The Boys & Girls Club is dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle (among other educational and wellness goals), and full stomachs certainly allow kids to better apply themselves to the task at hand.
The Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha is a youth guidance organization dedicated to promoting health, social, educational, vocational, cultural, character and leadership development. The Club helps youth improve their lives by building skills, values and self-esteem. When you support the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha, you support the kids who need us the most, and their great futures ahead. Visit www.BGCKenosha.org/donate to donate today.